One of Colorado’s most inspiring grassroots entrepreneurs leads the way for consciousness and community.
The next time you see Scotty Stoughton, he may performing with his band on stage, working alongside his team to produce a music festival, traveling the world solo, practicing yoga next to you or stand up paddle boarding with a friend down whitewater. You may only see him for a moment, but he’ll leave you with a spark of passion. Scotty is a man who lives up to the infinite standards of a dreamer. The path he has forged for his journey has not always made for an easy ride, but as he says, “nothing great is ever accomplished if you stay within your comfort zone — it never is.”
Growing up as a surfer from the Atlantic Coast, Scotty made his way to Colorado after college, grounding his fluid spirit into the heart of the Rocky Mountains. After years of both succeeding and floundering as a musician in Colorado and for a little while in California, he began honing his career as a music event producer, founding Bonfire Entertainment.
Scotty started the Campout For The Cause festival in 2008, a three-day event rooted in the spirit of music, movement, community and adventure — celebrating its 10 year anniversary this June. In 2013, he founded WinterWonderGrass, a unique, boutique festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and Lake Tahoe, California, featuring bluegrass, roots and string bands, craft breweries, whiskeys and local brands.“I finally realized that what I’m supposed to do is create community,” he shares. “To get people to come together, and the festivals are a big platform for that. Because I don’t want to talk to anybody; I want to talk with everybody.”
It brought me back to the thrill of the water and the connection to the water, and it also forced presence
After taking some time off from playing music, Scotty picked it up again and started a new band, Bonfire Dub, in 2008. He also found he way back to the water, co-founding Stand Up Paddle Colorado (SUPCO) after he fell in love with the sport. “I left surfing when I moved to Colorado to play music, so paddling was away from me for a while, and I had to come to terms with that,” he says. “After I saw someone stand up paddling in Kauai, I came back to Colorado and a couple of us started paddling. It brought me back to the thrill of the water and the connection to the water, and it also forced presence.” Scotty describes the sport as “flowing on the veins of the planet.” Always looking for his next waves of inspiration, he stand up paddled the Grand Canyon in the spring of 2016 alongside friend and SUPCO co-owner, Javier Placer.
“Do I go to those places to escape? No, I go to those places to find everything,” Scotty says. “I’m not escaping anything — I’m drawn to those experiences because I know that they will assist me on my journey to bring me deeper perspective.” Have a desire for the future and goals, he adds, but don’t live for the future. And don’t look to the past to create your identity.
Don’t live for the future. And don’t look to the past to create your identity
Scotty is committed to staying present, and with intention. “So all those things — producing, paddling and playing — it’s all about community; it’s connecting people,” shares Scotty. “It’s reconnecting, talking to people. It’s leading by example and getting outside your comfort zone. It’s being unafraid of being afraid.”
Among his interests and successful endeavors, Scotty has found solace in a personal yoga practice — one that his says has taught him the true meaning and feeling of mindfulness. “I go for the teacher and for the vibe,” he explains, “and I’ll practice anywhere, anytime. I don’t care to take ownership of any one kind of yoga, cause yoga for me is about the message of truth behind yoga.”
I’ll practice anywhere, anytime
Stoughton travels often for work and for exploration, but he’s recently planted root in Denver — a place to call home when he’s in town. He will “always remain part gypsy,” he shares, with a deep longing to travel the planet globally and locally, but now he understands the power of a home base.“Much like yoga, without the foundation, the rest is just a house of cards tempting the wind to delivery the powerful reality,” he says. “I’m always seeking community, whether it’s traveling globally to Turkey, India and Bosnia or dragging my Airstream around the West,” he adds. “Then all of a sudden, by remaining open to the flow and allowing myself to find that which is headed my way authentically, I find complete peace and a deep sense of being at the right place in the right time, right here in the heart of Rino.”
I’m always seeking community.
As he continues to build his businesses and expand his life, Scotty’s commitment is to continue as an entrepreneurial leader who fosters the spirit of connectivity. “For me, living is about combining all the elements that I’m inspired by and bringing them all together to create something that is bigger and greater,” says Scotty, “that will then inspire more and more.